TAVISH SCOTT will step down as Head of External Affairs for Scottish Rugby in November, just 16 months after being appointed to the newly created role, to become Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation.
As a former long-serving Liberal Democrat Member of the Scottish Parliament for Shetland, Scott has a long history working with the fish industry and described this move as “a logical and super step forward”.
Scott’s job spec at Murrayfield when he was appointed in June 2019 was to “oversee Scottish Rugby’s corporate affairs and media operations alongside proactively developing the organisation’s relationships with government, national stakeholders and the member clubs of the Union”.
The post was created in response to Board member Lesley Thomson’s internal review into the Keith Russell sacking and the issues related to corporate governance and communication with stakeholders which that episode raised.
It has been a brief affair but Scott insisted that his time with Scottish Rugby has been a positive experience.
“For those of you who know my Shetland background, I have worked with the fish farm industry for 20 years so being asked to join their representative body as CEO is logical and super step forward for me,” he said. “I will miss the world of competitive international sport, and will go back to being a passionate fan again.”
“Scottish salmon is the UK’s biggest food export. Its value to the economy is immense and it has the ability to help lead Scotland out of the Covid crisis, building on its sustainable foundations and driving a green recovery.”
It is not clear at this stage whether the Head of External Affairs post will be continued at a time when Scottish Rugby is looking to find £14million in savings in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The nature of the role means that it is very hard to quantify the impact Scott had on Scottish Rugby, but his familiarity with the Scottish political scene has been viewed as a major asset during the COVID-19 crisis. He leaves the organisation at a time when Murrayfield’s relationship with the Scottish Government is of critical importance to the survival of the business as it strives to get permission to allow crowds into Murrayfield and to restart the game at club level.